Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lucky, not wacky: woman called for rescue from bottom of well

An 82-year-old Swanzey, New Hampshire woman was rescued Sunday afternoon after she fell into a 12-foot well in her back yard. Frannie Guion was able to call for help with her cellphone after she fell into the well while she was doing her laundry. The well was hidden by grass and dirt.

"I think it was just a miracle we were able to get the call and help her," said Swanzey fire Chief Norm Skantze.

Guion called 911 and initially said that her legs were stuck. But rescuers found that her head wasn't visible from the surface. "I'm not even sure she fully realized what happened because it happened all of a sudden," Skantze said. "It was not what we were anticipating when we were responding."

Twenty rescuers responded. They used a tripod system that spanned the hole, allowing a rescuer to be lowered. Guion was then lifted from the well with an oversized belt.

The rescue took about 15 minutes and was done before dark. Guion's grandson, Josh Guion, said that he hadn't seen his grandmother since the fall, but he said she's a tough woman.

"She had knee replacement surgery and walks around, gets around fine," he said. "She's in good shape for her age." He said that she broke a rib, but it could have been much worse. "She could have died last night if she didn't have her cellphone," he said. (info from WMUR TV)

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